A restless lightning flashed in the water,
waves surged and rolled in the water; 1760
a sweet scent wafted from the rose-garden of Paradise,
the spirit of that dervish of Egypt appeared.
His fire melted the pearl in the oyster-shell,
melted the stone in the breast of Kitchener.
He cried, ‘Kitchener, if you have eyes to see, 1765
behold the avenging of a dervish’s dust!
Heaven granted no grave for your dust,
gave no resting-place but the salty ocean.’
Then the words broke in his throat;
from his lips a heart-rending sigh was loosed. 1770
‘Spirit of the Arabs’, he cried, ‘arise;
like your forebears, be the creator of new ages!
Fouad, Feisal, Ibn Saoud,
how long will you twist like smoke on yourselves?
Revive in the breast that fire which has departed, 1775
bring back to the world the day that has gone.
Soil of Batha, give birth to another Khalid,
chant once more the song of God’s Unity.
In your plains taller grow the palm-trees;
shall not a new Farouk arise from you? 1780
World of musky-hued believers,
from you the scent of eternal life is coming to me.
How long will you live without the joy of journeying,
how long with your destiny in alien hands?
How long will you desert your true station? 1785
My bones lament in the deep like a reed-pipe;
are you afraid to suffer? The Chosen One declared,
"For man the day of suffering is the day of purification."
‘Cameleer, our friends are in Yathrib, we in Nejd;
sing that song which will stir the camel to ecstasy. 1790
The cloud has rained, grasses have sprouted from the earth,
it may be that the camel’s pace grows languid.
My soul wails of the pain of separation;
take the road where fewer grasses grow.
My camel is drunk with the grass, I for the Beloved; 1795
the camel is in your hands, I in the hands of the Beloved.
They have made a way for waters into the desert,
upon the mountains the palm fronds are washed.
Yonder two gazelles one after the other—
see how they are descending from the hill, 1800
for a moment drink from the desert spring
and then glance upon the traveller.
The dew has softened the sands of the plain like silk,
the highway is not hard for the camel:
the clouds ring on ring like the wings of the partridge— 1805
I fear the rain, for we are far from the goal.
Cameleer, our friends are in Yathrib, we in Nejd;
sing that song which will stir the camel to ecstasy.’